- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
New Trade Paper
Currently out of stock.
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
This title in other editions
Wandering Signifier: Rhetoric of Jewishness in the Latin American Imaginaryby Erin Graff Zivin
Synopses & Reviews
While Jews figure in the work of many modern Latin American writers, the questions of how and to what end they are represented have received remarkably little critical attention. Helping to correct this imbalance, Erin Graff Zivin traces the symbolic presence of Jews and Jewishness in late-nineteenth- through late-twentieth-century literary works from Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Colombia, and Nicaragua. Ultimately, Graff Zivin’s investigation of representations of Jewishness reveals a broader, more complex anxiety surrounding difference in modern Latin American culture.
In her readings of Spanish American and Brazilian fiction, Graff Zivin highlights inventions of Jewishness in which the concept is constructed as a rhetorical device. She argues that Jewishness functions as a wandering signifier that while not wholly empty, can be infused with meaning based on the demands of the textual project in question. Just as Jews in Latin America possess distinct histories relative to their European and North American counterparts, they also occupy different symbolic spaces in the cultural landscape. Graff Zivin suggests that in Latin American fiction, anxiety, desire, paranoia, attraction, and repulsion toward Jewishness are always either in tension with or representative of larger attitudes toward otherness, whether racial, sexual, religious, national, economic, or metaphysical. She concludes The Wandering Signifier with an inquiry into whether it is possible to ethically represent the other within the literary text, or whether the act of representation necessarily involves the objectification of the other.
Explores the symbolic presence of "Jews or Jewishness" in modern Latin American literature.
About the Author
Erin Graff Zivin is Assistant Professor of Hispanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the editor of The Ethics of Latin American Criticism: Reading Otherwise.
Table of Contents
Introduction: "Jewishness," Alterity, and the Ethics of Representation 1
1. Diagnosing "Jewishness" 29
2. The Scene of the Transaction 74
3. Textual Conversations 119
4. The Limits of Representation 154
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z